Brides Up North

how does your garden grow? an outdoor wedding in lincolnshire – gemma & adrian

September 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (31)

This wedding is something else.  Not only is the walled summer garden setting super special, it was also hand planted by the bride and groom themselves.  And if that’s not a labour of true love, I don’t know what is!

Let the love grow… this one’s bloomin’ beautiful!

Images by Graeme Oxby.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (6)

Gemma says: In July 2013 Ady planned a surprise overnight stay to Settle. The Yorkshire Dales is my favourite part of the country. It was a lovely hot sunny day when we set off for a walk in the morning. We stopped for lunch on a hill-side with a beautiful view. Ady produced a rolled up pair of gloves from his backpack, which seemed quite an odd thing to be carrying as it was such a hot day, however he pulled out a ring and proposed, we cut the walk short and went into the town to celebrate.

We said I Do at  St Hybalds church, Ashby De La Launde, Lincolnshire. The church was very small making the service more intimate. There are beautiful views from the church over adjacent fields and woodlands.

Our reception was in a marquee inside a Walled Garden, in Ashby De La Launde owned by the father of the groom. Ady grew up at the venue and we both decided a long time ago we would have the reception in the walled garden, and have spent most weekends working on it to get it how we wanted. We reinstated the stone paths, rebuilt the old doors which had collapsed, planted new herbaceous borders and built the pergola in the centre of the garden, as a feature for the guests to gather around.

We wanted to be the first couple to use the garden for a wedding reception but in the future we would love to hire out the walled garden to use as a venue for events and weddings. We loved working together to get the venue right, and would enjoy doing the same for others.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (14)

We went for an English country garden style due to the nature of the venue. We mainly used items we found around the garden to decorate the marquee: Victorian terracotta pots, old fruit crates and wooden boxes planted up with plants we had grown from seed.

We felt the garden looked so vibrant and colourful that all other colours should be subtle and soft such as the pale lavender coloured bridesmaid dresses, white table linen and lilac and white flowers in the church and marquee.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (13)

I wore a Lusan Mandongus long slim fit, vintage lace ivory gown with cap sleeves and puddle train, from Limelight Occasions in Lepton, Huddersfield. It was so comfortable and lightweight when I first tried it on I thought it would be perfect for a garden reception, also the lace roses and floral motifs on the dress echoed the setting of the English country garden. I wore an Ivory and Co floral head piece with freshwater pearls, antique pieces of jewellery that were family heirlooms and other pieces that I found from antiques centres in Lincoln.

Ady wore a dark grey morning suit, with dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and dark grey cravat from Limelight Occasions.

Our bridesmaids wore pale lavender maxi dresses from Coast.

I chose hand tied country style bouquets made by Flowers by Suzanne based in Lincoln. The bouquets contained: peach David Austin roses, white dahlia, white astilby, scabious seed heads, white veronica, abliflora berries, and lavender.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (16)

We hired a  1936 Rover P2. from Ivory Vintage Wedding Car Hire, a family run enterprise based in Lincoln. The owner chauffeured the car personally from the Old Palace Hotel in Lincoln where the bridesmaids, my parents and myself got ready.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (33)

We used Graeme Oxby as our photographer.  Graeme is a great photographer and would definitely recommend him. He produced amazing shots that made us very happy and emotional when we first saw them.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (22)

The flowers for table arrangements and church decorations were home grown in the walled garden. My Mum, Sue, made all the flower arrangements the day before the wedding.

The women each received a small home grown Echeveria, in a little terracotta pot which was painted and decorated by the bride. The men received a bottle of ale which was made by a local brewer (Poachers) and a friend, the couple met at university drew the caricature for the label.

Brosters Farm Shop, in Huddersfield, which is near where we live, made us six different sized tiers of pork pie, all different flavours. We then stacked it up using dowel, and decorated it with ribbon, summer fruits and herbs. We wanted to have a summery harvest festival take on the traditional wedding cake look. Also neither of us like wedding cake! The pie was a huge success and we received so many compliments from guests saying it was so good they went back for seconds and even thirds!

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (27)

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (24)

Entertainment wise, it was just the good old DJ, and dance floor. We gave the DJ a long list of songs which meant something to us before he arrived, and he added the rest. It was great to keep hearing songs which brought back memories for us, friends and families.  We also had large wooden skittles on the lawn, as an afternoon game which we borrowed from the best man’s father.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (36)

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (37)

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (42) - Copy

For a minimoon we went full circle and went back to the Yorkshire Dales to stay in the same hotel where we got engaged. We went on the same walk and stopped for lunch at the same place as where we got engaged a year back. We are looking forward to our honeymoon in October, we are going to Sorrento in Italy for a week.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (45) - Copy

The best advice I could give other Brides Up North is share as much of the planning and preparation as possible – it was so much fun and really exciting. You feel extra special as a couple when you can look back on your wedding day and know you did it together.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (51)

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the editorials: Brides Up North in Unveiled Magazine

August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Unveiled 1

I’m really proud to be asked to contribute on a regular basis to some leading bridal titles both on a National and regional level and very happy to be able to share my published press with you on these pretty pages.

Today I’m hoping to put some roses in your cheeks with my spread on outdoor weddings featured in North East glossy, Unveiled Magazine.

Unveiled 2

I wrote: It may be the romantic notion of the wind in your hair and the sun on your backs, long lead times and increasing rates at traditional locations or a desire for something that feels a little more adventurous, but more and more Brides Up North are choosing to host their wedding ceremonies in the open air.

And once you’re out, why not stay out? A big white tent isn’t your only option for your wedding reception.  Whilst nothing tops the glamour of a beautifully lined formal marquee for a traditional celebration, there are plenty more outdoor choices available.  Think about how you want your wedding to look and feel before choosing your awnings.  Consider a pretty yurt, a big top, a Scandinavian style tipi or even a Bedouin style tent for a day with a difference.

If you are thinking about taking things outdoors, here are my top tips for the perfect day whatever the weather.

legally wed

If you want your ceremony to be legally binding, the venue must be a permanent structure with a roof and approved for marriage.  There’s always the option of saying “I do” in a separate civil or religious ceremony but some venues have licensed areas with a roof in the grounds such as a summerhouse or a gazebo so that couples can still tie the knot in the open air.  Do your homework in advance and make sure that your chosen location will result in a valid marriage certificate.

do the maths

If you were hoping that removing the walls would bring the price down, think again!  An outdoor reception is definitely a style, rather than budget, led choice.  You’ll need to allow for the cost of any tent or covering, any venue fees for where you choose to park it and all those easily overlooked additional extras – like electricity, lighting, heating and toilet facilities – that an outdoor celebration needs to function.  Ask your provider exactly what is included in the quote from the outset to avoid any nasty surprises.

come rain or shine

Contrary to popular belief, a wedding reception outdoors can work in all seasons.  The giant tipi design is inspired by the traditional tipis lived in by the Sami people of Lapland – so they’re built to withstand the weather and contain warmth.  Stoke up the fire pit, artfully drape a few fur throws and you and your guests are set to party into the small hours.

the sky’s the limit

Rustic or formal, weddings in the great outdoors are very adaptable.  Choose to let the outside in with natural blooms for a homespun look, or go to town with glossy dance floors and twinkling backdrops.  Whatever your preference, raising the roof widens rather than limits your styling options.

Unveiled 3

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May Day Merriment. Cymbeline & A Flower Crown For A Handfasting Outdoor Wedding in the Peak District – Keli & Pete

July 7th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

I’m all for making a wedding your own and that’s exactly what Keli and Pete did when they tied the knot (and their hands) at Windy Harbour Farm Hotel in the beautiful Peak District. The couple not only made their reception individual, but the ceremony itself too by having a secular service that reflected their journey to marriage as well as a handfasting with an elemental blessing.

The stunning outdoor setting gave way to carefree fun with the newlyweds and their guests enjoying garden games, afternoon tea and personalised beverages before burning up the dance floor in the evening.

One particular individual element that I adore about this wedding is that Pete had two best women! Breaking down yet another traditional wedding barrier, I think it’s fabulous that Pete asked those closest to him to fulfil the honourable role, regardless of their gender.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Keli said: We got engaged in the summer of 2011, the same summer we’d left our lives in London and gone travelling around England in a tent for three months. Pete and I had finally made it home, to my parents, where we would start to look for a new house and start building our new life up north.

We decided to take advantage of the last sunny day in September and go for a final walk in Castleton that included Mam Tor. Unfortunately our map reading skills were a little exhausted from the travelling all summer and we couldn’t seem to find the main path leading to the summit. So – fearful of never getting there – we turned off the beaten path and started up the side. Turns out we picked one of the steepest slopes to climb; we were exhausted and almost gave up halfway but Pete was persistent. When we got up there is was rather windy and rather crowded with people – which was not part of Pete’s plan – so we moved over the crest of the hill to sit out of the wind looking out over the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. After some lazy minutes Pete asked me to close my eyes, gave me a kiss and then produced the ring. I think my first response was “Are you sure?” And then lots of crying and laughing followed, and of course my answer, Yes!

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Windy Harbour Farm Hotel was the first venue we visited and only because it was just up the road from our new home in Glossop, Derbyshire. However as soon as we walked in both of us were struck by how friendly and how right it felt. The size was perfect for the 50 to 80 guests we planned to invite and the garden area was beautifully kept, which was essential as we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony with our mixture of pagan and secular traditions. Our country fair theme would need to include things like hay bales and garden games so we were lucky to find owners who were not only happy for us to do all this, but also happy to source things like the hay bales for us.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

We both wanted a ceremony that was unique and individual to us, more so than a church or civil ceremony can be. Added to that, I’m a Pagan and was determined to get married outside, surrounded by the natural world. We found Kate Gee, a Humanist celebrant who was happy to incorporate elements of Pagan ritual into a secular service that reflected our lives and the journey that had led us to the moment of marriage. We still exchanged rings and used vows similar to those in the Common Book of Prayer. We also had a handfasting with an elemental blessing, undertaken by one of our maids of honour. Everyone commented on how poignant and moving the ceremony was and we couldn’t have been happier with the way we were able to seal our marriage.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

As soon as we picked the date in May we knew we’d have a May Day themed wedding. We both love the May Day holiday and spent many years travelling to Hastings and various other places to celebrate it. So we knew we wanted lots of ribbons, greenery, games and folk music; as you would find at a May Day festival. We didn’t have a particular colour theme but we did end up using dark ivy green as the main contrasting colour. We also used a simple bright blue, yellow and red combination to accent it all – these mostly popped up as ribbons.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

I wore ‘Fadella’ by Cymbeline which I found at The White Room in Sheffield. It was nothing like the dress I’d imagined myself wearing to be wed but it was the one dress that made me feel like a bride. Being light and not too bulky it made perfect sense for the venue and the outdoors, informal nature of the whole day. In the end the lace matched Pete’s country suit perfectly and the small train meant it was great to dance in.

Pete wanted something that was quite ‘countryside’ and immediately thought of a tweed jacket which he ended up getting from Next. He wore it with a grey waistcoat and brown trousers from Debenhams. His tie was also from Next. The two fathers wore the same jacket and tie as Pete but created their own combos so they didn’t all look the same.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Although untraditional Pete had best women – Zoe and Lyvia, two of our closest friends from university. The two of them and Pete were a very close trio throughout our time there and they both coached him through a lot of good times, bad times and rather mad times. They wore navy blue dresses from Next with matching taupe shoes.

I knew from the start that I didn’t want lots of bridesmaids as choosing from all my friends and family would mean all the female guests would have ended up in the wedding party. Instead I asked two of my closest friends to be maids of honour on the agreement they would be available to help out with all the wedding planning and stop me from succumbing to the dreaded Bridezilla too often in the run up to the wedding. Their dresses proved very difficult to find, especially as they both live quite far away and work a lot and we had to take into account the two best men, who were also wearing dresses. In the end we found two light summer dresses in Dorothy Perkins and they were the perfect complement to my lace dress and the best womens’ navy blue dresses.

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

A Cymbeline gown, flower crown and handfasting for a Wedding in the Peak District - (c) Jon Rouston

Having good photos was vital to our day and we were keen to find a photographer who would fit in with the whole event and not feel like an outsider. We wanted mostly informal shots and pictures that took in the beautiful landscapes around us. Jon Rouston provided all that and more, giving us relaxed shots of our guests enjoying themselves as well as glimpses of the day we never would have seen otherwise. He also created some gorgeous portraits of us using a variety of local landscapes.

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Natural Vintage. Maggie Sottero For A Real Tipi Wedding In Durham – Kathryn & Dean

February 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

SDS Photography

A tortoise in a tutu, heaps of lace, pearls and roses and a Real Wedding in a tipi in my home town.  Thursday mornings don’t get much better than that!  Today we join North East couple Kathryn and Dean for their celebration under canvas in County Durham.

With images by SDS Photography

SDS Photography

Kathryn says:  We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012. Dean had planned different scenarios on how and where he was going to propose, depending on the weather. Because it didn’t snow outside, he made it snow inside. Dean covered the living room in fake snow and played our favourite Christmas song – there was a big box in the middle of the room filled with lots of smaller boxes (like Russian dolls). I had wanted a watch for Christmas so when I got to the last box, it was quite big so I thought it was the watch, but there was nothing inside it – I looked up and Dean had big sheets of card with the words of our favourite Christmas song “All I want for Christmas is You”, after each card he dropped the cards, one by one; “Love Actually” style. After the last one he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring box with a gorgeous diamond ring in! Needless to say by this point I was in tears and obviously said yes!

SDS Photography

We were married on 26th October 2013 at Elvet Methodist Church in Durham followed by a reception in giant tipis in a friend’s field close to Ushaw College.

We had 5 giant tipis supplied by Special Event Tipis, they were joined together to make one huge marquee style space, one of which was the bar and chill out area, and one was for the band and dance floor area, and the other 3 were the main seating area for the meal. We had over 170 guests during the day with an additional 70 in the evening.

SDS Photography

We chose to use tipis because we fancied something a little different!  My sister and I used to have a business supplying chair covers and sashes for weddings so I had been to most venues in the North East so I wanted something totally different and special!

As soon as I went the visit the tipis, I knew they were exactly what I wanted. Dean wasn’t able to see the tipis before the wedding so he was a little sceptical about the idea, he only saw them the day before the wedding when we were setting them up, but he highly approved, much to my relief.

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

We went for a natural and vintage feel with lots of lace & pearls. We also had a recurrent theme of logs; from a picture of a tree stump in the corner of our invitations with our initials carved in it, hollowed out tree stumps and logs filled with flowers for the table centre pieces and giant slices of bark covered tree trunk were used as cake stands for our traditional wedding cake and cheese wedding cake.

Our colour scheme was quite neutral with pale gold and ivory.

SDS Photography

My dress was from the Wedding Wardrobe at Chester-le-Street and was a Maggie Sottero dress called Grace. It was a very pale gold satin covered in ivory lace. To make it my own, I bought a handmade vintage style necklace and bracelet and had the necklace sewed into the front of my dress under the bust and the bracelet was attached to the top of my veil. I had these removed after the wedding to keep and wear as jewellery.

SDS Photography

I had too many close friends and sisters to choose from so decided to only have four small bridesmaids, my nieces. I got their dresses from BHS and teamed them with a cream cardigan from John Lewis. The dresses were pale gold satin with a lace bodice, they matched my dress perfectly!

The men wore dark navy, 3 piece suits which we bought from Next (it proved quite difficult as the men live all over the country) with a white shirt and vintage gold patterned tie form M&S. I also had my nephew as a page boy who wore a navy suit form Monsoon and we had one of the mens’ ties made smaller to fit him.

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

I had a beautiful bouquet which had white avalanche roses, Roralie roses which were a pale peach/cream colour, talea roses which were a vintage peach/champagne colour, spray snowflake roses, white hydrangea and wax flowers and we also added old brooches which I had collected from antiques fairs and strings of pearls to keep the vintage theme going.  All our flowers were by Country Style at Langley Park. 

SDS Photography

We travelled in a cream VW split screen Campervan from Lovedub Cars called Chaz – he was beautiful.

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: Summer Lovin’. Chinese Dragons For A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Helen & Jamie

December 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

One Wedding

My god, Helen and Jamie’s wedding day looks like fun.  This is one of those features – put together in the early hours of the morning (or the late hours of the night, whichever way you want to look at it) that makes me want to shut down the laptop, pick up those dancing shoes and a bottle of something cold and head off to party till dawn.

Bright, vibrant, individual and full of fun, I hope that this gorgeous Real Wedding spreads a little sunshine your way.  Just watch out for dragons…

With images by Mike at One Wedding.

One Wedding

Helen says: We got engaged in June 2011, in Hong Kong. We were living in a city called Zhuhai in mainland China at the time and Jamie whisked me away to Hong Kong as a surprise to celebrate 9 years since our 1st date. Despite a typhoon and last minute customs issues with the ring J’s plan came together!

One Wedding

One Wedding

We were married on 6th July 2013 in the gardens of Woodthorpe Hall in Derbyshire The ceremony took place in the cider press and the reception outside and in a marquee on the lawn.

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

We chose the venue because of it’s stunning location. We were showed round by the house owner Dick and he was so friendly and his wife Sue was brilliant. We had the freedom to choose anything we liked, bringing in our own suppliers and spend the week before customising the whole place.

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

Our theme was a hint of China! We lived in China for almost four years and got engaged in Hong Kong so there were a few nods to that part of our lives. We brought back all sorts of lanterns and flags for decorations and filled the fridges with Tsingtao beer (from the city where we lived). Our first dance was a Chinese pop song.  Our colours were lucky Chinese red and white. 

One Wedding

My dress came from a shop in Manchester, I was after something a bit different and once I saw it I knew I’d found the right one. It was a bit of an ordeal because I had sorted something from China that didn’t work out in the end so it was quite a last minute find but it was all ok in the end! 

I had one bridesmaid; Jamie’s sister Em. She looked stunning in a red dress made for her in China. She sent us some pictures of the style she liked and we chose the material and had it made. My other best mates all wore something with a touch of red and we all carried red or white parasols. Jamie and the groomsmen wore the same suit they found on a shopping outing together. The teamed it up with waistcoats/ties to suit their own style.

One Wedding

We originally wanted red and white orchids in our bouquets but it was such a hot week that the florist, Jo Price, called and said they wouldn’t last the day so we added in roses.

One Wedding

One Wedding

The ceremony was in the same place as the reception so we didn’t have any transport between the two. I travelled in style with my Dad whose car my bro polished to perfection. We had a great moment with the top down and the music playing going down the country lanes.

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

A really special moment was when three friends sang a song during the ceremony. A school friend, uni friend and neighbour got together for the first time the morning of the wedding and by the afternoon were playing beautifully during the ceremony!

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

A highlight of the day was the arrival of the Sheffield Chinese Lion Dance Troupe just after the meal. Jamie and I had arranged for this to be a total surprise so everybody was shocked and excited. Brilliant!

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

Thanks to the help of friends and family we personalised the tables and marquee. We glued photos of us with friends and family onto red ribbon to make bunting and string it around the marquee. There were photos of every guest as well as friends who couldn’t make it everywhere. 

We used beer bottles from around the world as table markers and a friend did calligraphy for names.  The table centres were flower arrangements made by Jamie’s Mum and friends teamed up with some Chinese fans.  We brought back some Chinese bracelets which we used as napkin rings for the guests to keep. Instead of favours we put a pound coin in a Chinese box and told guest to choose a pot labelled for three different charities. People added some extra coins and we raised over £300.

One Wedding

One Wedding

Dick and Sue at Woodthorpe Hall were fantastic. They were so hands on and helpful. The guests said they felt very well looked after. They only do a handful of weddings a year so it felt very personal.

One Wedding

One Wedding

We hired a Marquee from Ascot Marquees. ‘Marquee Mark’ helped us hang lanterns and red bunting (expertly made by my Mum!) and the place looked great. A friend from Totally Gazeboed contributed gazebos for the string quartet and a photo booth. We raided the attic for some props and got some hilarious shots.

One Wedding

We brought in our own booze and homemade canapés. Jamie used to live in Germany so the last time he went to visit his friends there he filled up the car with mini kegs of German beer which we placed around the garden for people to help themselves to.  PJ Taste provided the main food. Wonderful! We had BBQ steak, swordfish and veg with lots of lovely salads. Highly recommended.  Our friends from Cocoa Wonderland sorted us out with some yummy chocs.

One Wedding

My mum baked fruit cake for the three tiers and iced them white then the week before the wedding my friends came over to help decorate. Kat and Sarah made sugar paste flowers and James helped stack the tiers and add the ribbon. We also had friends bake cakes to bring along so we had lots to choose

from.

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

One Wedding

For the evening dancing we played our favourite tunes and friends and brothers helped to DJ.  We also had a fab impromptu ukulele song by Geoff who got everyone singing along.

One Wedding

One Wedding

I have so many favourite parts to the day! Standing there with Jamie at the ceremony. Seeing all our different friends and family all together having fun. The speeches. People’s reaction to the Lion Dance. Having a moment with Jamie taking it all in looking over the moors. The first dance and the dancing to Design for Life with my Dad and friends. Everything was so positive and lovely.

One Wedding

One Wedding

After the wedding we honeymooned at a music festival in Lisbon (including seeing Biffy Clyro whose music we used during our ceremony) and spent some time on the Portuguese coast.

One Wedding

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to add lots of little things to make the day feel yours and don’t get too worried what other people do for their weddings. The day is very personal, there are a lot of extras that you don’t always need. Include things that reflect you!

One Wedding

Congratulations Helen & Jamie!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 One Wedding

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: If You Go Down To The Woods Today… Paloma Blanca For A Real Teepee Wedding In Yorkshire – Claire & Andrew

December 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks. 

Andy Hook Photography

My readers know how to make their wedding days amazing, as today’s stunning celebration sent to me by real bride Claire and Brides Up North exhibitor Andy Hook Photography shows.  Claire and Andrew’s Real Wedding has got it all… cool cars, gorgeous gowns, fabulous flowers, and a spot of welly wanging to top it all off.  So… be inspired!

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Claire says:  We got engaged on Christmas Day at home in Tickhill in 2011.  My vintage ring was wrapped in my stocking.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

We were married on 8th June 2013 at St Mary’s Church, Tickhill, South Yorkshire with the reception held at Forest Plantation, Hodsock Priory, Nr Blyth.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

We fell in love with teepee tents as a venue at a friend’s wedding; it was the first time in 12 years of being together that we felt we had found something that was us! They were so unique and there’s something special about being under canvas, so we quickly got in touch with Papakata.

After securing our tents we searched and searched for a plot of land that we both felt gave us that rustic, outdoor backdrop to site the tents in. After several attempts at viewing some local farmer’s fields we thought we would try Hodsock Priory, a local historic country house. We knew the estate had some magical woodland so we organised to meet up with George Buchannan (Owner) who showed us his beautiful woods that are locally famous for snowdrops and woodland walks. We fell in love with the area but the bombshell was our keenness to have a live band. George explained there would be an issue with noise affecting a wedding which was already booked in at the main house for the same day. He went on to describe a more ‘secluded’ wood that he had up past the estate farm, only used for dog walkers. We drove up together to have a look but with slight disappointment and not much hope for this other wood. It was very wild and I had to pop on my design goggles to visualise what could be, but we both looked at each other with big grins & shook George’s hand & said ‘this is the spot’!

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

The theme was rustic chic – natural fabrics and recycled materials, coupled with crisp white linen and large white flowers.  I chose a palette of neutrals with small accents of champagne/rosewater and pale blue.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

We were both very nervous about the ceremony, but we actually took control of our nerves and really enjoyed it.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

My dress was a classic dress that Emily Bridal in Sheffield have had stocked for a few years. The designer was Paloma Blanca, made from a pale champagne Dupion silk with ivory lace & beaded detail to the bodice and train edge. It had a mild sweetheart neckline which was balanced with a delicate, thin silk band and bow under the bust line. Silk buttons ran down the entire length of the dress at the back.

I carried a hand- tied bouquet of white lilac, pale peach blousy roses, white peonies, rosemary, buplerum & lambs ear. It was tied with rustic burlap and satin ivory ribbonWe used Connells ‘The Florist’ at Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough. 

Andy Hook Photography

My dress was champagne and my bridesmaid’s Twobirds dresses were in rosewater which brought out the colour in my dress. Andrew and the groomsmen wore grey/brown suits with a pale blue shirt and tie to match the suit colour from Racing Green.

The groomsmen had a single vintage white rose with lambs ear and a twine bow and the bridesmaids each carried a single large white hydrangea with foliage attached.

Andy Hook Photography

I had a love note hand embroidered onto silk and stitched into the inside of Andrew’s suit jacket.  It was a really special touch.

Andy Hook Photography

It was amazing arriving at the wood and seeing how we had managed to transform the venue into something magical, it was more than we imagined and to see all of our family and friends having such a relaxed and enjoyable time made all the hard work worthwhile.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Catering was by  Feast Yorkshire and our bar by Louisianna’s Mobile Bar Hire.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

We were lucky that my Uncle renovated my great granddads Morris Minor (the first car I ever drove) and we used this as our wedding car. It took pride and place at the reception venue and our little son Ollie & his cousin Logan enjoyed hours of fun pretending to take each other for a spin around the woods!

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

We had a live acoustic singer on arrival to the reception and through the wedding breakfast – James Taplin, and a live five piece band from Manchester – Soul Dedication (LMM Live Music Management).

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

We wanted a handmade rustic wedding with lots of input from family and friends. If you want a similar wedding with individual touches, our advice would be to go for it! Our friends helped with our favours, making chutneys to go with our cheese buffet and two friends even made us a twig chandelier for over our bar from twigs we had gathered from the wood earlier in the year.

A handmade wedding makes your day that extra bit special and your guests will really appreciate it as it will be different and memorable… we had been to a few weddings that you knew exactly what was coming next, a bit predictable.

Andy Hook Photography

A handmade wedding isn’t the easy route, you have to be super organised and you will have to let some original ideas go by the way side as the pressure mounts… I didn’t believe I would have to do this as I am a self-diagnosed control freak, but even I had to let go! Andrew, myself and a small army of family & friends spent all of Thursday and Friday before the wedding setting up the reception. This may sound horrendous to some, but even though it was extremely tiring and hard work, it was just the best experience and just added to the whole wedding experience. It was fantastic to be responsible for organising and pulling together all of our long thought out ideas together in one place and creating our vision in a rustic woodland.

So the best advice is to put a list together of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ so that when that time comes hopefully you will have completed the critical items and will only have to consider losing not so important details.

Start as early as you can and get as many friends and family involved, they will love to help you and it makes your day that extra bit special.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

After the wedding we honeymooned in Barcelona at the Grand Central Hotel.

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Andy Hook Photography

Congratulations Claire & Andrew!

If you’d like to share your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages, here’s how.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Andy Hook Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Under The Sky. Sophia Tolli For A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Nicola & Mike

September 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

Pixies In The Cellar

This afternoon’s Real Wedding – with images by Pixies In The Cellar – is cool and classy and conducted under a blustery Yorkshire sky.  An outdoor ceremony is always special, but with our British summertime, it’s also downright brave.  Luckily Nicola and Mike’s gamble paid off, as the sun shone for their stunning celebration at The Saddleworth Hotel

Pixies In The Cellar

Nicola says:  We got engaged in The Maldives in June 2011 and were married on Saturday 3rd August 2013 at The Saddleworth Hotel.  It’s an amazing setting and the venue has great staff – overall, truly everything we wanted in a wedding venue!

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

We didn’t really have a colour scheme – everything was kept neutral with white, grey and black. The only hint of colour was pale, blush pink roses dotted amongst the cream in the bouquets.

Pixies In The Cellar

My dress was a Sophia Tolli design, a little vintage with delicate straps and beautiful back detail. It was purchased from Society Brides in Liverpool.

Pixies In The Cellar

My bridesmaids wore slate grey shift dresses from Bride to Be by Hannah Lois  and I added an ivory coloured sash to these to match their shoes and bags. The groomsmen wore slate grey suits from Swarbricks with dark grey cravats and waistcoats to tie in with the sash on the bridesmaid’s dresses.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

I stayed at the venue the night before and Michael was picked up by the owner of The Saddleworth Hotel in a vintage Rolls Royce convertible.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

The ceremony was gorgeous – the best part of the day for both of us. It was so lovely and really did feel personal to us.

Pixies In The Cellar

As a surprise, I wrote a personal reading to Michael telling the story of us in the form of a poem. I’d gone through the process of ‘choosing one’ with him so he didn’t have a clue until one of my bridesmaids started reading it. It made the ceremony so personal and there was barely a dry eye in the house.

To add to this, turns out he’d done the same and wrote me a poem as part of his speech – a truly in sync couple.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Our beautiful flowers were by Kelly Louise.  I carried a hand tied bouquet of white, cream and pale pink roses and this was echoed in our centrepieces. 

Pixies In The Cellar

We chose a very simple three tier, white iced cake from Slattery’s. The only detail was a small grey ribbon and row of pearls placed around the bottom of each tier to tie in with our overall details and theme.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

nicola-mike-138

Pixies In The Cellar

We had a band called Under The Covers perform during the evening reception.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

The honeymoon was planned all as a surprise by Michael – literally until we arrived at the airport. He planned the whole thing and didn’t tell a single person.  We went to New York then on to Maroma Beach, Mexico

Pixies In The Cellar

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy every second and make sure you spend as much of it as possible with one another – it truly is the most magical day you could wish for, make sure you share it together

Pixies In The Cellar

Congratulations Nicola & Mike!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on the blog?  Here’s how

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Pixies In The Cellar

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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THIS SUNDAY! It’s Our Brand New Wedding Event At The Alnwick Garden!

August 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Alnwick Garden Luxury Wedding Exhibition September 2013

 

As I revealed last month on these pretty pages, I am absolutely thrilled to add the latest and most exciting date to our schedule of luxury bridal events this Autumn, the Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Alnwick Garden on Sunday 1st September 2013. And it’s THIS Sunday! .

This is a super special event, as not only is it kicking off our Autumn season in style, but it’s also in one of the prettiest settings I know – the extraordinary contemporary gardens, atriums and vintage marquee at The Alnwick Garden.

 

Sean Elliott Photography

 

And if it’s good enough for the RoyalsPrinces William and Harry played ushers at a high society wedding at this very venue just last month!  – its good enough for me!

 

We have 50+ luxury and vintage wedding exhibitors at this gorgeous event including, amongst others: Gray Events, Emma Bunting, Bit-a-Sweet, Ellingham Hall, Alnwick Wedding Cars, Plumb and Rabbitts,

Sean Elliott Photography, Phil Smith Photography, The Master Cakesmith, Dirk Van Der Werff, David Lawson Studios, Jamie Penfold Photography, Ramside Estates, Village Photography, 42 Bridge Street Weddings: Kathryn S Trueman Bridal & Occasions, Adamski Photography & Photo Booth, K Beautique Wedding Make Up and Nails, The Timeless Table , YAP Bridal Boutique, The Wedding Guide, Belle Bridal Magazine, Glen Roughhead Swing Singer, Lottie McPhee’s Cupcakes, House Of Fraser, Molton Brown, Greenwoods Menswear , Notjusttravel Northeast, Woodhill Hall, Simply Bows & Chair Covers, Snaparazzi Photo Booths, AJ Bridalwear, Rings By Design, Ink Wedding Stationery, AM DJ Services, Val Boyers, Great British Bash, The Event Dresser, Graphic Embers Stationery, Lydia Jane Bridal, Vintage Bride Boutique, Debenhams Metro Centre, VW Deluxe Weddings, Absolute Media, Colin Cook Wedding DJ, Wild With Love, Most Suitable and Chris Cross Magician

 

They can’t wait to meet you and help you to plan your extraordinary wedding day!

 

Sean Elliott Photography

 

VIP Bride To Be Registration - entitling you and a guest to entry to the glorious gardens for the whole day, completely FREE (so why not make a day of it?) plus a VIP welcome pack filled with treats, glossy mags and exhibitor discounts – is open!  What are you waiting for?

 

To register for free entry for the bride plus one guest (usual admission prices and concessions for the Garden apply to additional guests) and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Welcome Pack sponsored by House Of Fraser and Molton Brown fill in your details below, marking “ALNWICK GARDEN in the subject line and quoting “VIP”.   Only the bride need register for larger groups.

 

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

 

You can also email contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy!

 

Sean Elliott Photography

 

Can’t make this event? (boo!)  Click here for the full list of Brides Up North events this season. 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Sean Elliott Photography

This is a Brides Up North Event

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Real Wedding Recap Summer 2013: Outdoor Vintage: A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Elizabeth & Chris

June 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for the second half of what’s set to be the biggest and best year year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty. 

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Usual service will recommence on 1st July 2013,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far in 2013, plenty of eye candy, new features that we won’t be able to wait to share, some special supplier showcases and a couple of surprises too!

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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I just love today’s beautiful, vintage under canvas wedding in Yorkshire sent to me by friends of the wedding blog James & Lianne Wedding Photography and real bride Elizabeth, first featured last February.  Pretty personal details, a liberal dose of rainbow streamers and the loveliest vintage dress for the bride with the teeniest, tiniest waist make this a celebration worth celebrating.

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Your week just got that bit prettier. 

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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Elizabeth says:  Chris asked me to marry him in April 2011, during a picnic at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  We were married on October 13th 2012 in Hackness, North Yorkshire.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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We hired a couple of Tipi’s From Papakata which were erected on the field at the side of the local village hall in Hackness. We had wanted the Tipi’s ever since we got engaged, and although expensive on our budget the idea of being outside, in the countryside we both grew up with was too good to pass on. It also helped keep the informal feel we were gong for that we would perhaps have lost if we had used a hotel as our venue! It also meant we had full control over everything, we could pick exactly what we wanted in terms of décor, entertainment, catering, and weren’t constricted by the venue. This did mean a lot of work before hand orchestrating everything, but it was definitely worth it!

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We just tried to include all the things we liked, kept it laid back , informal, and as cosy as we could for an October in Yorkshire!

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We didn’t really have set colours – things were just quite in similar tone. We ended up with lots of greys and blush colours along with creams and pale oranges – and lots of greenery.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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My dress was a vintage find from the 1940s and Chris’s ensemble was from a variety of places!  We didn’t have any bridesmaids though three lovely friends did readings in church. The best man wore what he wanted and as luck would have it he matched us very well.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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A friend of a friend happened to own a couple of Vintage cars one being an immaculate almond green Morris Minor. He kindly agreed to drive me and my dad to the church and then took us both on to our reception.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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Our bouquet and buttonholes were made by Scarborough Flowers – we couldn’t have been more thrilled with what Sharon did.  We went to the florist with very rough ideas and were thrilled with what we ended up with! The bouquet contained lots of berries, chrysanthemum and dahlia type flowers along with greenery, echinops and wild roses.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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For both of us our favourite part of the day was the actual wedding ceremony, it was the best hour ever!

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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We used lots of candles and lanterns that we have been picking up for over a year along with vintage bottles and vases for table decorations. We found some lovely squashes at a greengrocers in Ilkley which we loved for the tables and bales for outdoor seating. A friend of the family made us an amazing garland of found greenery to decorate our tipis.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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Our wedding feast came courtesy of A Moveable Feast.  We have had so many compliments on the food since the wedding, Selma did a great job of making the type of food that fitted perfectly with the feel we wanted for the day. We provided food for the night do and spent a year buying up various drinks whenever they were on offer.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography helped us so much throughout the entire day, not only did they deliver photos we’ll treasure forever but there was so much service that they just add for free: keeping us gently on track with time in the morning and helping the day flow which was ideal being a country-side wedding. They had a helping hand in so many things throughout the day they went above and beyond their photographer duties but with us barely noticing them and it all just seemed like a days work to them!

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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The Leeds City Stompers an old time, country blues duo from Leeds were our main entertainment, who really pulled it out of the bag on the day, I don’t think the dance floor was empty all night! We also hired a Wurlitzer Jukebox to fill in between sets and loaded it with classic songs chosen in advance by our guests.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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Our honeymoon is still to come…

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to stay true to the things you both want and go with your gut instincts, for us all of ours worked out perfectly! When other people get involved and have quite definite opinions about what you are doing it can make you have a wobble. Really take care with the photographers you hire, you spend so much of the day with them – we were very lucky in James & Lianne as they were an absolute joy to be with but have heard horror stories from friends whose photographers really stressed them out – James & Lianne were the opposite. We’d really recommend doing a pre-wedding shoot too, neither of us feel particularly happy having our photos taken but having done the pre-shoot we were much more relaxed – and we have some nice photos from that day too.

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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James & Lianne Wedding Photography

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Congratulations Elizabeth & Chris!

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Want to see your own big day featured on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 James & Lianne Wedding Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Love Heart Red: A Real Wedding In The North West – Kirsty & Dean

February 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Jonny Draper Photography

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If ^^^ that pretty parade of love heart heels ^^^ rang some loud “this is one wedding I have to see” (wedding) bells, then just wait until you see the rest of Kirsty and Dean’s stunning big day.  With images by Jonny Draper Photography, and some enthusiastic recommendations from today’s real bride, this wedding is a whole lot of lovely!

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Kirsty says:  We got engaged back in 2004! It’s been a LONG engagement…No ‘tear-jerker’ story I’m afraid, albeit very special to us. Dean proposed to me at home.  We were married on Saturday 1st December 2012 at Egerton House Hotel, Bolton, Lancashire. 

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The venue was one of the most important things for us. We had a few venues in mind at the outset but Egerton House was always a firm favourite of mine. It’s round the corner from where we live but Its got that Country House feel, the grounds are idyllic and there are lots of big comfy sofa’s and log fires. It’s like getting married at home but on a much bigger scale!

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Adele and the team at Egerton House are great and I had every confidence that they’d make sure everything was just perfect for us, and they did.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Our theme was rustic, romantic, and red hearts (…because who doesn’t fall in love with Vivienne Westwood heels)! We chose a colour palette of bordeaux red, ivory and silver (very Christmassy)!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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When I set out on the ‘dress-hunt’ I knew exactly what I wanted. I just had to find it! One of the first girly outings to find my wedding dress was a shop in Ramsbottom, simply because there was a Chocolate Café around the corner, you have to start somewhere! I didn’t find what I was looking for but it did lead me in the right direction. The bridal shop had a sister shop in Rawtenstall and so I decided to pay Gypsophila a visit.

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Having walked into the shop and rummaged through the small selection of dresses they had I immediately spotted THE ONE! I knew straight away this would be the dress I’d pick, it was perfect. I wanted something that had Audrey Hepburn written all over it – very simple yet elegant that was very WOW.  It was silk dupion, had a high-scooped neckline, slim at the waist with the most fantastic crystal encrusted belt and then a full skirt.

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A quick swish test and I’d made up my mind, which was justified by the tears that followed from Mum and Nan.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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The bridesmaids wore bordeaux 50’s style cocktail dresses by Lou Lou, which had the same neckline as my dress teamed with the most gorgeous Vivienne Westwood shoes.

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I purchased the bridesmaids’ dresses from Just Gorgeous Bridal Boutique in Crawshawbooth, which I have to say is the best bridal shop ever!  As soon as I arrived at Just Gorgeous I just knew I’d find the bridesmaids dresses here, the owners (mum and daughter) Judith and Emily were so so nice, I think I’d of bought anything just to keep in touch with them!  Those girls became a highlight of my wedding planning times – the shop is every-girls dream, decked with lots of pink and twinkle and it’s superbly located right above a scrumptious cupcake bakery! There was always a bottomless teapot and tea is served in the funkiest pink china cup and saucers! 

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The groomsmen wore dark grey pinstripe tails from Slaters. Teamed with ivory waistcoats and bordeaux cravats and hankies. Dean wore an ivory cravat and hankie to match me. 

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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We used Flossy & Leigh Hair & Make Up.  What can I say about these girls – fairy godmothers with extra twinkle dust. They managed to keep me calm all morning whilst working their magic to turn us into goddesses. We all decided to go for fairly natural makeup; I wanted an Audrey Hepburn-esque up do, whilst the Bridesmaids chose their own 50’s style hair.

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Phoebe pulled each and every one of our styles off perfectly! The girls arrived for 7am to set us all in rollers for breakfast, lots of make-up, girly chats and a few glasses of bubbly later and we were ready to step out on to the red carpet. Oh, they also have super-cool make-up chairs and an illuminated mirror – it’s like being a celeb for the day!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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One of my favourite parts of the day has to be also one of the most nervous and scary parts! It was waiting outside the ceremony room, all the Bridesmaids giggling waiting to go in whilst I concentrated on breathing!! I remember hearing the opening line of the entrance song and thinking ‘this is it’. Walking into the room and seeing Dean waiting at the bottom of the isle for me. I remember thinking; this is the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with…

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My bouquet was a natural look using akito and grand prix roses, bouvardia, lisianthus, ranunculus, ilex, ivy, freesia, eucalyptus and rosemary finished with a lace ribbon and a snowflake.

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Sara of Flowers With Passion was an excellent find! I’m sure every Bride has a vision for how they want their flowers and the venue décor to look, but it’s difficult to find a florist who shares that vision. I wanted my bouquet to have that ‘thrown together look’ (Sara will kill me for saying that!) – I wanted reds, cream and greens and plenty of different textures. Sara also decorated our cream birdcage table centres with ilex berries, ivy and candles and carried the look throughout the venue. 

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For me the flowers were one of my favourite things.  I’ll always remember Dean and I were called to view the room set up for the wedding breakfast before the guests were called through and I hadn’t quite prepared myself for how lovely it looked – I just burst into tears! Happy ones of course…

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Jonny Draper Photography

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We used Jennifer Sawdon a pianist and singer for the ceremony and the drinks reception. As we were having a civil ceremony we were always adamant that we wanted live music to create the same atmosphere at the ceremony that you get when you’re in Church. I had a real ‘thing’ about not wanting to walk down the aisle to a CD!

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I came across Jenny online and upon hearing her rendition of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars I knew we just had to book her. It wasn’t a song I would have associated with a wedding but the way she sings it is magical – Its not often a song gives you goose bumps!

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The only problem was, I couldn’t get through the full song without crying… I had to organise many a girls nights in and we’d play Jenny’s song on loop until we couldn’t cry anymore just so that I was prepared on the day!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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We decided on a cupcake tower: 180 sponge cupcakes in silver foil cases, topped with lashings of chocolate buttercream and finished with either two red glittery hearts or a silver glistening snowflake. We had a fruitcake on top and a caricature cake topper complete with Disney ears!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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The uber talented Jonny Draper was our photographer – I came across Jonny online somehow (I’m sure at one point I was stalking every wedding supplier known to man. Jonny’s images are amazing. I remember scrolling through his site thinking that when the wedding is over, all that’s left other than the amazing memories are the photographs and if I had an album full of these pictures I’d be one super happy lady!

Jonny somehow seems to capture every emotion of the day without taking you away from your guests, which is exactly what we wanted.

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A wedding video wasn’t something we’d really thought about. Until we came across Silk Wedding Videos and then it was all we thought about. I’d spend many evenings with a coffee and a tissue searching through Tom’s blog and I’d always end up blubbing over a couple I knew nothing about!

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We have recently received our wedding video and it really is amazing. It’s surprising how many things you see on your video that you didn’t take notice of on the day. Watching all of our guests waiting for me to arrive and listening to the entrance song gave me the same excited/ nervous feeling all over again. Although I have to admit it is really strange seeing yourself on screen – I’m sure my nose isn’t really that pointy!

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I would definitely recommend a wedding video and I can’t recommend Tom enough! On top of the fact that he’s so talented he is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet…roll on every single anniversary so we can sit together in front of the TV and re-live the best day of our lives.

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For our favours we used small black and white funky images of all the guests (courtesy of Facebook) and we clipped them to each wine glass with mini heart topped pegs. Its funny watching the wedding video and seeing the look on everyone’s faces when they arrive at their table. It’s also nice that I’ve seen them in wallets and purses since! We just thought it was a nice little ice-breaker…

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Unfortunately we lost two very special people during our wedding planning times. Both of Dean’s Nans passed away. We decided to provide British Lung Foundation charity pin badges as favours. We placed these in little brown envelopes that were sealed with a heart (sourced from Etsy) alongside a little poem.

It was quite special to look around the room and see everybody wearing their badges.

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For the children we bought brown paper bags (again from Etsy) personalised with their names and filled with Haribo ‘heart’ sweets, bubbles, wax crayons and a card with a ‘Bride & Groom’ on the front (which will be nice to look back on in a few years time). 

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In the ladies toilets I’d created a collage of photographs that were taken at the Hen Do… Including one of me with James Nesbitt!  We’d also put together a little ‘SOS’ kit in the ladies. It was a little heart shaped basket filled with hairspray, deodorant, hand wipes, comb, hand cream and hair pins which I’d carefully packed into little red envelopes with the words ‘When it’s flat, pin it back’ on the front!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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I came across The Coolers at a colleagues wedding, nothing fills the dance floor like a live band. It was actually the first wedding I’d been to that had a live band. Those guys really are the best. The Coolers also played our first dance, which was really special. We’re already looking for an excuse to book them again!

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We’d always wanted to visit Disney World and so that’s what we did for our honeymoon! Two weeks in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We then drove to Miami and stayed overnight in South Beach before boarding a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship, which went to the Bahamas. We then had a couple more nights in Miami before coming home so we drove the length of the Florida Keys and visited the Everglades.

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Since we enjoyed a long engagement, I have a few tips for other Brides Up North!

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Make decisions and move on:  We had 2 years to plan our wedding day which is great and gives you plenty of time to search through fantastic blogs like Brides Up North for tips and ideas. However sometimes having too much time means that you ‘park’ ideas in scrapbooks or in lists. The last 3-4 months really did fly by for us and I left lots of things until last minute. We were in Boots at 5pm the day before the wedding printing out all of the photo place cards – even though we knew we were doing these from the outset!

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Make a timeline: This was a tip passed on to me and I’m so glad I took the advice. Sounds a little ‘bridezilla-ish’ I know, but there’s so much going on during the day and so many people to organise. There will be things on the timeline that some people don’t need to know or even care about but it just helps if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet!.

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Lots of information will be stored in your head right the way through the planning stages, I’m sure at times there were things I hadn’t even told Dean about… It’s nice to get everything down on paper and hand out copies to the bridal party and other suppliers.

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You’ll not be able to plan right down to the exact minute of the day but a rough guide helps things to run smoothly. This way everybody knows what to expect and you won’t spend the day thinking about it at all.

Of course you have to banish all sights of the timeline on the day… it’s s not cool if your running around with a sheet of paper panicking because the drinks reception is running 10 minutes late!

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Hen/Stag Weekend’s abroad: Gone are the days of ‘hen nights’… a weekend in Ibiza seemed a little extravagant at first but it was a much needed rest with my favourite girlies, it was a fantastic holiday and certainly one to remember. Waking up in the sun and having cocktails around the pool…lovely! Dean went off to Germany for his Stag-do to race around the Nurburgring track.

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Congratulations Kirsy & Dean!

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Get in touch to share your own Real Wedding on these swirly silver pages.  Here’s how

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  – Images © 2013 Jonny Draper Photography

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